The cooperation with the European Union is one of the foreign policy priorities for the Republic of Armenia.
Since Armenia’s independence, cooperation with the EU has been essential in carrying out reforms in the fields of economy, justice, building state institutions, securing democratic society, as well as institutions dealing with the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Ambassador Tatul Markarian was appointed as the Head of the Mission of Armenia to the EU on August 5, 2014. Ambassador Piotr Antoni Switalski was appointed as the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia on September 1, 2015.
Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement
The legal basis for the Armenia-EU relations is still the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) that was signed in 1996 and entered into force in 1999 for 10 years and has been automatically renewed year by year according to the relevant provision of the Agreement, since the new Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA), signed between Armenia and the EU, has not yet entered into force. The National Assembly of Armenia ratified the CEPA with a unanimous vote on April 11, 2018.
Edward Nalbandian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia and Federica Mogherini, EU VP/HR, launched the negotiations on December 7, 2015, in Brussels. After 9 rounds of negotiations, lasting one year and two months, on February 27, 2017 President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan and President of the European Council Donald Tusk announced conclusion of the negotiations, and on March 21, 2017 the CEPA was initialed in Yerevan.
The CEPA was signed on November 24, 2017 in the margins of the 5th Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian, on behalf of the Republic of Armenia and by the EU VP/HR Federica Mogherini, on behalf of the European Union in the presence of President Sargsyan and President Tusk.
On May 16, 2018 the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament gave its consent to the draft resolution supporting the Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement and the attached draft resolution on Armenia-EU relations. On the 3rd of July it is scheduled that the full House will have a final vote on the above-mentioned resolutions.
Since the 1st of June, 2018 under the provisions of Article 385 of the CEPA, the provisional application of the agreement entered into force.
On June 21, 2018 the official delegation of Armenia headed by the Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan took part in the first session of the Armenia-EU Partnership Council. The sides specifically emphasized that this was the first meeting after the start of provisional application of the Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement, underlining that the Partnership Council provides an opportunity to summarize the current level of implementation of the general agenda and to outline prospects for further strengthening of the cooperation. The sides reiterated the importance of the agreement as the legal basis for relations that practically encompasses all vital areas and cooperation frameworks.
On May 17, 2018 the 9th Armenia-EU Subcommittee on Justice, Freedom and Security was held in Yerevan. Important issues, such as migration, fight against trafficking, justice reforms, protection of personal data were discussed.
High-level Bilateral Visits (2015-2018)
|February 2018||Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian|
|May 2017||Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian|
|February 2017||President Serzh Sargsyan|
|January 2016||Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian|
From the European Union
|October 2017||Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn|
|October 2017||Political and Security Committee of the Council of the European Union|
|February 2017||Director-General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Christian Danielsson|
|March 2016||High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini|
|July 2015||President of the European Council Donald Tusk|
|March 2015||Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn|
In November 2017 Ambassador Toivo Klaar was appointed as the European Union Special Representative for the South Caucasus and for the crisis in Georgia. He has already paid 2 visits to Armenia on December 1, 2017 and on February 21-22, 2018.
Armenia-EU Sectoral Cooperation
A Joint Declaration on Mobility Partnership between Armenia and the EU and its 10 Member states was signed on October 27, 2011 in Luxemburg, in the framework of which a series of programmes for migration control, labour migration, trainings, etc. are envisaged.
The first Armenia-EU High Level Meeting on the Mobility Partnership was held in December 2015 and the second one on January 23, 2018 in Brussels. Following the discussions, the parties stressed the progress made towards the implementation of the Mobility Partnership Joint Declaration.
In 2015 the “Support for Migration and Border Management in Armenia” (MIBMA) project was launched, which is implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD).
In the framework of the financial instrument of the Mobility Partnership some small-scale projects are also implemented by the State Employment Agency of the Republic of Armenia together with the Swedish Public Employment Service.
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With the aim of enhancing sectoral cooperation with the EU, a Protocol to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement on Armenia’s participation in Community programmes was signed in 2012 and has been in effect since March 1, 2014. The Protocol allows Armenia to participate in a broad range of EU programmes and to cooperate with EU agencies in a number of areas, such as education, health, culture, etc.
On December 7, 2015 Armenia signed the agreement to join the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME) in Brussels, which entered into force in early 2016.
On May 19, 2016 in Brussels the Minister of Education and Science of Armenia Levon Mkrtchyan and EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas signed the agreement associating Armenia to “Horizon 2020”- the EU framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
On December 1, 2016 the European Commission was granted a mandate to launch negotiations with Armenia on Common Aviation Zone. The negotiations started in March 2017 and the agreement was initialed at the Brussels Summit on November 24, 2017.
On November 24, 2017 the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Edward Nalbandian and the EU VP/HR Federica Mogherini signed the Protocol on High-level Mutual Understanding on extending the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) to the Republic of Armenia.
On March 20, 2018 the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Armenia Armen Amiryan and Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Commissioner Tibor Navracsics signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the participation of Armenia in Creative Europe’s Culture programme.
Armenia-EU Visa Facilitation
Armenia and the EU signed the Agreement on Visa Facilitation on December 17, 2012 and the Agreement on Readmission was signed on April 19, 2013. Both Agreements came into force on January 1, 2014.
The Armenia-EU Visa Facilitation Agreement provides for simplified procedures for issuing entry visas to the EU countries for a number of categories of Armenian citizens. Under the decision of the Government of Armenia since January 2013, all citizens of the EU Member states, as well as of those who implement the Schengen Acquis are exempt from visa requirement when visiting Armenia.
Two joint committees have been created for overseeing the implementation of the Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements. In January 2018 the 4th annual meetings of the two Joint Committees on Visa Facilitation and Readmission Issues were held in Brussels.
Armenia-EU Human Rights Dialogue
Since 2009, Armenia and the EU have maintained a regular dialogue on human rights issues. The Human Rights Dialogue meetings take place annually, in Yerevan and Brussels, respectively.
The inclusive agenda of the dialogue consists of a host of human rights related issues, such as national framework for the protection of human rights, judicial reforms, freedom of expression and information, freedom of assembly and civil society activities. On May 29, 2017 the 8th Armenia-EU Human Rights Dialogue was held in Brussels.
On May 16, 2018 the 9th Armenia-EU Human Rights Dialogue was held in Yerevan. Armenia and the EU reaffirmed their commitment towards democracy, rule of law, respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, shared as common values for both. The EU confirmed its readiness to work with the new Government of Armenia and to provide support in the above-mentioned fields.
European Neighbourhood policy
In March 2015 the European Commission published the ENP Review proposal to make the cooperation with the EU partner countries more effective. The topics were divided into five main directions: differentiation; targeted cooperation; flexibility; mutual ownership and visibility. European Parliament approved the Reviewed ENP on November 18, 2015 and the European Council adopted it on December 14, 2015. Armenia has welcomed the review of the ENP and in particular the strengthening of differentiation and “more for more” principles.
After the ENP revision, namely after securing the differentiation principle, the EU has adopted some new approaches for constructing its relations with partner countries. In October 2016 the joint delegation of the European External Action Service and the European Commission visited Yerevan and offered to the Armenian side the draft of the “Partnership Priorities” document. After a series of discussions, the document was signed on February 21, 2018 in Brussels by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian and the EU VP/HR Federica Mogherini. Partnership Priorities together with the CEPA will become the main guidelines for the bilateral cooperation in the years to come.
Parallel to the “Partnership Priorities” document, the Armenian side was discussing with the EU the “Single Support Framework” document for 2017-2020, which includes approximately 20 sectoral directions. This document was approved by the EU in November 2017.
Eastern Partnership (EaP)
The Eastern Partnership was launched at the Prague summit of the Heads of State and Government of the EU Member states and six Eastern Partner countries on May 7, 2009 during which a Joint Declaration was adopted.
The multilateral cooperation within the Eastern Partnership takes place through 4 platforms and 12 panels, the new set-up of which was launched on March 12, 2018. Under the new structure of the Eastern Partnership the revised platforms are as follows:
- Strengthening institutions and good governance;
- Economic development and market opportunities;
- Connectivity, energy efficiency, environment and climate change;
- Mobility and people-to-people contacts.
Sectoral ministerial meetings and the EaP informal ministerial dialogues, which are successively held in one of the partner countries’ capitals, are part of the multilateral cooperation framework.
Armenia’s participation in the events organized within the framework of Eastern Partnership (EaP)
|November 2017, Brussels||President Serzh Sargsyan, EaP Summit|
|May 2015, Riga||President Serzh Sargsyan, EaP Summit|
|November 2013, Vilnius||President Serzh Sargsyan, EaP Summit|
|September 2011, Warsaw||President Serzh Sargsyan, EaP Summit|
|May 2009, Prague||President Serzh Sargsyan, EaP Summit|
|June 2018, Minsk||Minister of Foreign Affairs Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, EaP informal ministerial dialogue|
|July 2017, Chisinau||Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian, EaP informal ministerial dialogue|
|June 2017, Luxemburg||Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian, Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the EaP countries|
|April 2017, Warsaw||Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian, EaP and Visegrád Group Foreign Ministers' Enlarged meeting|
|November 2016, Yerevan||Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian, EaP informal ministerial dialogue|
|July 2016, Kiev||Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian, EaP informal ministerial dialogue|
|May 2016, Brussels||Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian, EaP ministerial meeting|
|May 2016, Prague||Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian, EaP and Visegrád Group Foreign Ministers' Enlarged meeting|
|November 2015, Tbilisi||Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian, EaP informal ministerial dialogue|
|June 2015, Minsk||Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian, EaP informal ministerial dialogue|
|May 2015, Bratislava||Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian, EaP and Visegrád Group Foreign Ministers' Enlarged meeting|
|April 2015, Luxemburg||Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian, EaP ministerial meeting|
|July 2014, Brussels||Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian, Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of EaP countries|
|September 2013, Yerevan||Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian, EaP informal ministerial dialogue|
|July 2013, Brussels||Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian, Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of EaP countries|
|May 2013, Krakow|
|February 2013,Tbilisi||EaP informal ministerial dialogue|
|July 2012, Brussels||Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian, Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of EaP countries|
|June 2012, Chisinau||Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian, EaP informal ministerial dialogue|
|March 2011, Bratislava|
|December 2010, Brussels|
|December 2009, Brussels|
The 5th EaP Summit took place on November 24, 2017 in Brussels, where discussions were held at the highest level on the ways of breathing new life into the enhanced partnership, as well as the objectives delivered so far.
The leaders welcomed the “20 deliverables for 2020” document, which is aimed at securing more concrete and tangible goals. The implementation of this document will enhance the visibility of the EaP in our societies and further strengthen the credibility towards this framework. As for the suggested changes in the EaP structure, it is important to note that they are supposed to make it more inclusive, transparent and effective.
The Brussels Summit reaffirmed the EaP achievements, namely the strengthening of the differentiation principle, stressing that the EU support to its partners will be based on the “more for more” approach.
As a result of the Brussels Summit, the Joint Declaration was adopted which welcomes the signing of the CEPA, along with other significant achievements. The Joint Declaration once again secured the necessity to embark on the visa liberalization dialogue in due course, as well as expressed support for a swift completion of negotiations of Common Aviation Area Agreement with Armenia.
The Summit participants called for renewed efforts to promote the peaceful settlement of unresolved conflicts in the region on the basis of the principles and norms of international law.
Supporting and empowering the young generation was also emphasized in the Joint Declaration, particularly through a comprehensive youth policy framework and the youth package presented by the EU. The Declaration also welcomed the progress in extending the core Trans-European Transport (TEN-T) network to the EaP countries.
EaP Riga Summit took place on May 21-22, 2015, which resulted in the adoption of the Riga Declaration, where the principle of differentiation was highlighted as one of the tools of developing mutually beneficial cooperation between the EU and its partner countries, based on the adherence to the common values and progress made in implementation of reforms.
For Armenia one of the important sectors of the cooperation with the EU is the enhanced mobility aimed at the intensifying people to people contacts. In the Riga Declaration there’s a reference to visa liberalization and mutual commitment to take necessary steps towards achieving that goal.
Participants of the Riga Summit reaffirmed their full support to the mediation efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs aimed at the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.
On November 29, 2013 the Armenia-EU Joint Statement was adopted at the Vilnius Summit reconfirming the commitment of the parties to further develop and strengthen comprehensive cooperation in all areas of mutual interest.
Meetings of the institutional bodies under EU-Armenia PCA
The meetings of Cooperation Committee, Parliamentary Cooperation Committee and Subcommittees set out under the EU-Armenia PCA take place annually in Yerevan and Brussels, respectively. The Cooperation Council annual meetings are always held in Brussels.
On January 30-31, 2018 the 5th meeting of the Armenia-EU Energy, Transport, Environment, Climate Action and Civil Protection Subcommittee was convened in Yerevan.
On December 20-21, 2017 the 17th meeting of the Armenia-EU Parliamentary Cooperation Committee took place in Yerevan.
On May 30, 2017 the 8th meeting of the Armenia-EU Justice, Freedom and Security Subcommittee took place in Brussels.
On May 23, 2017 the 17th meeting of the Armenia-EU Cooperation Council was convened in Brussels, which was chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Edward Nalbandian.
On December 15, 2016 the 17th meeting of the Armenia-EU Cooperation Committee took place in Brussels.
Parliamentary cooperation is carried out in the frameworks of the Armenia-EU Parliamentary Cooperation Committee and the EuroNest Parliamentary Assembly.
On December 19-20, 2017 the 17th meeting of the Armenia-EU Parliamentary Cooperation Committee was held in Yerevan, during which the prospects of Armenia-EU cooperation were discussed in the context of signing the CEPA. Issues relating to the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the importance of regional stability and cooperation were also deliberated over. The discussions were concluded with the adoption of the Final Statement and Recommendations.
On May 25-26, 2017 the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament headed by the Chair of the Committee David McAllister visited the Republic of Armenia. Apart from meetings in the National Assembly of Armenia, the President Serzh Sargsyan and Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian also received the delegation.
On January 20-21, 2016 the 16th Armenia-EU Parliamentary Cooperation Committee was held in Strasbourg.
On March 16-18, 2015 the 4th plenary session of the EuroNest was held in Yerevan. Resolution commemorating the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide was adopted.
Trade and economic relations
The total EU assistance to Armenia since 1992 amounts to more than € 800 million.
The EU accounts for 23.6% of Armenia's total foreign trade. The EU is also the biggest export market for Armenia with a 26.7% share. In terms of the imports, the EU is the second biggest partner for Armenia with a 22% share.
Within the framework of EU Generalised Scheme of Preferences, Armenia has been benefiting from the special incentive arrangement for sustainable development and good governance, the so-called Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+), since July 2005. The “GSP+” regime allows Armenian exports to have advantageous access to the EU market providing for a zero duty rate for about 6400 goods. Under the 2016 data, Armenia’s exports to the EU through the “GSP+” regime account for € 108 mln.
Trade turnover between Armenia and the EU /mln Euro/
Joint Declaration of the Eastern Partnership Summit (Brussels, 24 November, 2017)
Joint Declaration of the Eastern Partnership Summit (Riga, 21-22 May, 2015)
Joint Declaration of the Eastern Partnership (Vilnius, 28-29 November, 2013)
EU-Armenia Agreement on Readmission of Persons residing without Authorisation
Additional trade data:
EU Website - http://europa.eu/